Modelling the impact of testing, contact tracing and household quarantine on second waves of COVID-19

Alberto Aleta, David Martín-Corral, Ana Pastore y Piontti, Marco Ajelli, Maria Litvinova, Matteo Chinazzi, Natalie E. Dean, M. Elizabeth Halloran, Ira M. Longini Jr, Stefano Merler, Alex Pentland, Alessandro Vespignani, Esteban Moro & Yamir Moreno

Abstract

While severe social-distancing measures have proven effective in slowing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, second-wave scenarios are likely to emerge as restrictions are lifted. Here we integrate anonymized, geolocalized mobility data with census and demographic data to build a detailed agent-based model of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission in the Boston metropolitan area. We find that a period of strict social distancing followed by a robust level of testing, contact-tracing and household quarantine could keep the disease within the capacity of the healthcare system while enabling the reopening of economic activities. Our results show that a response system based on enhanced testing and contact tracing can have a major role in relaxing social-distancing interventions in the absence of herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2.

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